Petition demanding for court monitored probe into DDCA affairs, dismissed

Delhi High Court: While dismissing a plea demanding a court-monitored investigation by the CBI into alleged criminal offences committed by DDCA officials, the court said that the petition was “premature” while noting that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had already initiated preliminary inquiry on 23 October, 2015.

 The petition was filed by former cricketers, Kirti Azad and Bhishan Singh Bedi, which had sought a probe monitored by the CBI into the alleged financial irregularities at the DDCA. The plea also sought appointment of an independent administrator to look into alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). The petition had also sought a direction to the Centre to cancel the privileges such as subsidized land, extended to the DDCA, and ensure that no loss is caused to the Exchequer.

Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani who appeared for the Petitioners had argued that the CBI had not yet filed an FIR in the matter and that as per some audit reports and findings of a fact-finding committee, there were irregularities in the cricket body. Additional Solicitor General Neeraj Kishan Kaul who appeared for the CBI, submitted that the agency was already seized of the issue and will continue its investigation accordingly.

The single judge bench comprising of Manmohan J. held that, “the court is of the view that present writ petition is premature as preliminary enquiry has already been registered,” the court said, adding that a court-monitored probe can not be ordered “just because union minister was named in the petition”. It further went on to add that a SIT ought to be called for, only in the “rarest of rare” cases, and not simply because a ‘Union Minister’ was alleged to be involved. It further directed CBI to “investigate all aspects of matter in accordance with law”.[Kirti Azad  v. DDCA, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 768, decided on 9-02-2016]

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